In the wake of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Walmart said they will be removing item that resemble “assault-style” rifles and increasing the age to purchase firearms and ammunition to 21 at their locations. Seventeen people were killed in Parkland (via Walmart):
BREAKING: Walmart says it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21.— The Associated Press (@AP) February 28, 2018
In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.
In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15. We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers. Additionally, we do not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories. We have a process to monitor our eCommerce marketplace and ensure our policies are applied.
We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm. The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.
We are also removing items from our website resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys. Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way.
In 2015, the retail chain said that they would not be selling AR-15 rifles, citing lack of demand (via NYT):
Walmart, the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition, attributed its decision to lower consumer demand for such military-style rifles, not gun politics. It said that it was adding to its offerings of shotguns and other weapons used by hunters.
The decision put Walmart’s gun sale policies back in the spotlight as debates over gun control erupted again because of the Virginia shootings. Gun control advocates viewed the company’s action as significant because similar types of weapons were used by shooters in recent massacres, including an attack on a Colorado movie theater by a gunman who killed 12 people, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which 20 children and six adult staff members died.
After nine people were gunned down inside a church in Charleston, S.C., in June, the chief executive of Walmart, Doug McMillon, indicated in an interview with CNN that he wanted to curb sales of such weapons. The company had also been under fire from politicians in urban areas, where it has been trying to expand, because of its gun sale policies.
I don’t know. With Obama being the best gun salesman in decades, not so sure lack of demand was an issue. After all, he prompted Americans to buy over 100 million firearms during his presidency.